Greenpeace chides Barclays over funding of high carbon infrastructure

The new Barclays Energy and Climate Change Statement describes climate change as one of the greatest challenges faced by the world today and highlights the role banks have to play in limiting the threat that climate change poses to people and to the natural environment.

It states “Our aim is to help facilitate the transition to less carbon-intensive sources of energy while supporting economic development and growth in society by helping to ensure the world’s energy needs are met responsibly.” Furthermore, it details three major strands to this: Financing the growth of renewable energy sources; taking a responsible and sustainable approach to the necessary financing of sources of energy that are more carbon intensive or those with higher environmental impact, and reducing the carbon footprint of our own operations and supply chain throughout the world.

However, Barclays’ a new policy statement has cut little ice with Greenpeace, with the organisation pointing out that the bank will continue to fund tar sands infrastructure including pipelines. Rather cuttingly, Greenpeace compares Barclays unfavourably to peers such as HSBC and BNP Paribas.

Reacting to the new policy, Greenpeace UK oil campaigner Hannah Martin said “As it was with apartheid, so it is with climate change: Barclays is on the wrong side of history. By continuing to fund tar sands pipelines, Barclays is once again choosing short-term profit over human rights and the wishes of a small number of corporate clients over those of tens of thousands of its customers.”

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